Friday, March 11, 2005

5 More for the No Credit Card Company Left Behind, Bankruptcy "Reform" bill

On Tuesday, 14 Senate Democrats incomprehensively voted with the Republican majority for cloture on S. 256, killing further debate on the bankruptcy "reform" bill and effectively ensuring its passage.

Yesterday, 18 Senate Democrats voted with the Republican majority to provide credit card companies with even more power than they already possess by finally passing the legislation, which will now head to the House.

You probably want to know who the extra Democrats were that went from "nay" on the vote for cloture to a "yea" on the vote for the bill's final passage, don't you?

Well, one member of the original 14 played the bait and switch by voting "nay" for the final bill--Joementum Lieberman. So the result was 5 additional Senate Democrats who bowed down to the corporate god Molech in the hopes they would still be able to get the support of the finance industry for their next campaign.

Here they are, five more Senators who will never be Democratic nominees for President:

Baucus (MT)
Bingaman (NM)
Inouye (HI)
Reid (NV)
Bayh (IN)

Congratulations, men. Like Esau of old, you have sold your birthright for a bowl of pottage.

Fortunately, not every Democratic in or out of Congress was amused.

Members of the party's more liberal wing were openly frustrated that Republicans had ample Democratic help passing the bankruptcy bill on a 74-to-25 vote in the Senate...

"This is not where we as Democrats ought to be, for crying out loud," said Senator Tom Harkin, Democrat of Iowa, after Republicans beat back amendment after amendment offered by Democrats in their efforts to soften the bankruptcy measure. "We are making a terrible mistake by thinking that we can have it both ways. We have to remember where our base is."

As the bankruptcy bill emerged, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, sought to rally members of his party around a series of amendments that would offer special protection for those whose bankruptcy was attributed to health care costs or other unexpected expenses. But on that and nearly every other attempted change, solid Republican opposition, bolstered by a handful of Democrats, prevailed.

On the call to cut off debate on the bill, 13 Democrats joined Republicans, some of whom said privately that they were astonished that Democratic opponents of the bill were losing so many from their own party.

The support drew a scolding from John Podesta, a top Clinton administration official who now leads the Center for American Progress, a Washington research group. In a memo widely circulated on Capitol Hill, Mr. Podesta said lawmakers who viewed the bankruptcy bill as an easy probusiness vote were overlooking the impact it could have on the middle-class Americans who are being sought after by both parties.

In an interview, Mr. Podesta said the support by some Democrats for legislation like the bankruptcy bill contributed to the party's continuing erosion among working-class voters. "You have got poll after poll saying there is no distinction between the parties on these core economic issues and one has to say, no wonder," Mr. Podesta said.

Amen, brother, halleluyah.

It's Time: Harkin '08

It's Time: Podesta '08

It's Way Past Time: Kennedy '08

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